Appaloosa Campground, Caballo Lake, NM

Yes, we’re back at Caballo!

The crew and I leave Leasburg Dam State Park this morning.  We take Interstate 25 north and after a short time on the road, orange cones guide us toward an exit.  A sign reads, “All vehicles must exit.”  Oh, it’s border patrol.  Better get out my license.

A guy in a tan uniform smiles as he walks up to my open window.

“How many people in your vehicle, ma’am?”

“Just me and the two dogs,” I reply, showing him my license.

He peers through the tinted windows in the back of the PTV.

“Anybody in the camper?”

“No.”  I expect that he’ll want to look inside the Casita, but he comes back to my window.

“You stay warm in that?” he asks.

“Sure.  I have an electric heater.  I’m on my way to have a propane heater installed, too.  I live year round in it.”

“You do?”  He seems genuinely suprised and ready to talk some more.  However, a car pulls up behind me and he sends me off with a “Drive safely, ma’am.”

I guess they’re into profiling and I don’t look like a transporter of illegals.  I could have a couple dozen Mexicans crammed into my Casita.  Oh well . . . that was easy.

Back on the interstate, the brown state park sign appears. 

I have the choice of Percha Dam State Park to the left or Caballo Lake to the right.  I turn right.  Save Percha for the return trip.   Always looking for something new, I drive us to the campground on the lake side of the dam, rather than return to the river park.  Part of the campground is blocked off for the season, but there are plenty of electric hook-up sites.  Staying here puts us only 16 miles south of Elephant Butte for the heater installation on Thursday.

Bridget, Spike, and I are drawn to the lake. 

On the way to the steps leading to the boat ramp road, we pass a big motorhome.  A lady comes out with her rat terrier.  Spike starts yipping, letting me know he has to meet this dog.  The lady obliges, and the dogs sniff.  She says her terrier’s name is Cookie.  After she and Cookie have gone inside their motorhome, Spike still doesn’t want to leave.   I have to yank on his leash to get him to come along.

Surprisingly, there’s only a lone fisherman at the lakeside. 

Even though it’s Monday, I expect people in such a gorgeous location.  Hey, I’m not complaining!  It’s balmy and breezy here.  We stop at a picnic table in the shade of a tree.  I see water birds skimming on the lake’s surface.  A heron wades along the edge, occasionally jabbing the water.

We walk down to the boat ramp and venture out on the dock.

The crew does not like the dock bobbing up and down under their paws.  Spike looks down at the water and I know what he’s thinking.  “Don’t you dare jump in, Spike. C’mon, guys, let’s go back to the table.”  We enjoy looking at the lake and the mountains for about another half hour before going back to our campsite.

I haven’t been to a grocery store in a long time.

Even so, I manage to pull together something to eat.  I have a can of tuna fish and a few slices of bread.  I don’t want to use up the bread for a tuna sandwich though, in case I want to make toast or a P&J sandwich tomorrow.  When fulltiming, sometimes you have to be inventive.  I boil some shell macaroni for macaroni-tuna salad.  I don’t have an onion or a pepper, but I do have a bunch of parsley, still fresh (go figure).  Well, parsley’s green.  Let’s see.  I’ll just scissor up a whole lot of parsley in with the tuna fish and mayo .. . . Mmm, not bad.

The crew is ready for supper, too.

That’s when we have a mini-disaster!  I had put the full bag of dog kibble in the shower for when we were on the road.  The bottom got wet. Duh. When I pick it up, the bottom opens up sending kibble all over the floor!  (See photo in slideshow.)  I gather most of it up into freezer bags.  Spike and Bridget happily clean up the rest.

After supper we go up to the self-pay station to drop off a check for $4 for the night.  I love how the New Mexico State Parks in the desert have so many well-marked trails.  On the way back to the campsite, the crew meets a tough-looking guy by the name of Mr. Bojangles. (See photo in slideshow.)

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I’m a chatterbox today . . . posted two entries!



About rvsueandcrew

Fulltime nomad
This entry was posted in Bridget The Widget, Casita, Spike The CoPilot and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Appaloosa Campground, Caballo Lake, NM

  1. OMG what a mess, don’t you hate when things like that happen? But… at least it was a “dry” spill, easy to clean up. Nice campsite – love the dog photo. 🙂

  2. JoJo says:

    Ugh what a mess. luckily it was dry. I’m sure the crew didn’t mind helping you clean it up.
    That lake looks good.

  3. Marsha says:

    I really enjoy your blog – never miss a post; you write like you’re updating friends and your descriptions of the antics of Bridget and Spike crack me up – they have quite the little personalities!

    Four tiles of Dridek would take care of any residual water left after a shower. We just got some this year and I put one of those terry bath mats over it, but a lightweight rug would probably work just as well if not better; you could use it outside the bath when you’re showering for something to step on to when you get out of the shower. In any case, the Dridek keeps your feet and anything else that might need to hit the shower floor from getting wet. We especially appreciate a dry bathroom floor when we have to get up in the middle of the night 😉

    PS – The pictures are great, too!

  4. Bob Giddings says:

    Maybe you know Sunseeker already, can’t remember. Anyhow, here’s a fellow who charges his Casita from solar installed on his van, since ’bout a year and a half ago. Might be worth an email to see how it went, pitfalls and such…


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Bob!

      I am familiar with Sunseeker . . . I emailed him about his solar set-up and he’s been very helpful with answers to my questions.

      My solar is still in the planning stages

  5. kimzoph says:

    Hi Sue, Pleasure-Way-gal here again. Just wanted to let you know that your blog continues to be wonderful. Love your descriptions, and your photos are great. Can’t wait to get to southern New Mexico–my favorite state of all! Thanks for your help in starting my days out with a spirit of adventure! Kim

  6. Terry says:

    Hi, Sue –

    I can tell from the other comments that I am not the only one who eagerly looks forward to your next post. This just confirms my expectations of retirement. I look forward to the days when I too can be fulfilled by the simple pleasures you describe on your blog, where achievement is redefined from getting the biggest bonus to solving life’s real dilemmas – like what to do about the solar panels, where to park, how to fix dinner without going to the grocery store, etc.

    My college roommate lives near Los Alamos, so over the years I have visited her, and really love the scenery of NM. Once I get my Casita, and work my last day for pay, I will be spending even more time there. Keep the great stories and pictures coming!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Terry!

      “Once I get my Casita, and work my last day for pay . . .” Oh, how I remember those days when I was almost at the point of realizing my dream! Only for me it was “Once I work my last day for pay and get my Casita.”

      I like your description of “solving life’s real dilemmas.” I can relate to those people who are into survival skills. There’s a satisfaction in living simply, experiencing new places, and figuring out on a daily basis how to make this way of life work.

      Thanks for the compliment on my writing and photos. You sound like someone who is going to love doing what I’m doing … and in a Casita!!!

  7. Bill Kelleher says:

    Water, what I think happened.

    I think that there was water in your shower drain and when you hit the brakes it sloshed back up out of the drain.
    Try to find a drain plug that fits tightly or one of those big round flat drain stoppers and put something on top of it to keep the water in the drain line.

    Bill Kelleher

    PS here is a link to dri dek .

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Bill . . .

      When I started reading your comment, the first line of it, I thought you were going to explain why the Rio Grande is so low!

      Both suggestions are very good. I may just go with the flat drain stopper for now as I can walk into a store and buy it. (I don’t want to be tied to another mail pick-up right now.)

      Inside the closet next to the shower there is aN up/down plunger type apparatus that opens and closes the drain. I bet I didn’t close it well enough or it jiggled open a bit.


      • Bill Kelleher says:

        When I started reading your comment, the first line of it, I thought you were going to explain why the Rio Grande is so low!

        That’s simple, NO RAIN sorry I just couldn’t resist. They are in a major drought down there.

        Bill Kelleher

  8. Sheila says:

    The Dri-dek is great. Our only problem was finding someone who would just ship 4 tiles (which is all you need). A minimum order is usually 12. We ended up getting ours through Amazon. Less color choices but also a whole lot less tiles.
    New Mexico is looking better and better when we see it through your eyes.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I appreciate you letting me know to get the Dri-dek through Amazon.

      When I told friends back in Georgia that I planned on going to NM, some reacted with “Why would you want to go THERE?” I think the state is underrated. It’s a beautiful place that offers so much.

  9. Reine says:

    Hi Sue, sorry we missed seeing you in NM. We stopped one night at City of Rocks state park and one at Rockhound state park before heading to Davis Mountains State Park in Texas. Maybe next time we get within shouting distance we can get together.

    The blog continues to entertain us. When you want somewhere else interesting to go, check out Chiricahua National Monument. It’s in southeastern Arizona so not terribly far from where you are now. National Park Service managed so camping is $6.00 with the geezer pass – although it’s completely boondocking so don’t go without your Wave 3.

    FYI, our Wave 3 and a good sleeping bag have worked well on this trip. We’ve boondocked a lot in temps down to freezing without any issues. Opening the ceiling vent an inch and a side window an inch is sufficient ventilation although we don’t sleep with the Wave 3 on.

    And let me add another vote for Dri Dek. It’s great for keeping your feet dry without having to wipe down the shower. Till you get the Dri Dek, get a trash bag to put the bag of dog food in.

    Keep up the good writing. We enjoy it

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Reine,

      I’m glad you had a good trip and your Wave 3 and sleeping bag kept you warm.

      I usually put the dog food bag in a dishpan (I have so many dishpans from when I used them to keep things organized in my classroom) and set it in the shower.

      It’s nice to know you enjoy the blog .. . Hello to Paul!

  10. Emily says:

    Drat Sue, I just read this post after struggling to get Eggie up on his “winter jacks”. A cold front is coming and that “s” word is being battered around like a ping pong ball! I decided not to cover him this year, so I can look out the kitchen window and give a “sigh: and a “ahhhhhh”.

    And hey, no fair. You got stopped by the Border Patrol and he talked to you. They just wave me through!

    • rvsueandcrew says:


      I could say something cute about you being in the path of a cold front and eventually snow, but you’re too nice a person and I feel bad for you! LOL The thought of a frozen egg is too horrible!

      Maybe it was the PTV that attracted the Border Patrol. . .

  11. Jack says:

    Great pics Sue, I have to smile everytime I see Spike doing his poses. Actually he’s quite good at being aloof and always pointing North for no apparent reason! (lol) Jack

  12. Bob says:

    I sent a message to the Border Patrol to pay special attention to Casitas riding low on the axles!

    (Not so) Seriously, Sue … Next Halloween you could dress Bridget and Spikey as a senorita and senor .. Spike would look good with a drooping mustache and you could tie castanets to Bridgets tail.

    Great slide show. Love those pics.

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